It's almost time for the annual trip to beat the Hwy 20 closure for the season and ramble around in the area between Winthrop and Loomis.
In order to have options to accommodate the weather, this year we'll have high and low routes in case it's right on the edge between rain and snow. Given the choice I go snow since I can't stand sitting around in the rain once camp is set up. This is usually a snowy trip with snow depth averaging somewhere around a foot at 6-7,000 ft. At night the temps drop below 20 deg F (cold weather gear is a good idea).
We'll be trying to camp in the northeast section of the area this year, and if the snow is too deep at the higher elevations we have the chance to go down to 4,000 ft and drive through a chunk of the Loomis state forest.
This area does not have motorized trails - just forestry road in various states of condition. There have been a lot of fires in the area in the last 20 years, so there is plenty of options for gathering firewood. We can plan on being on forestry roads for 3-5hrs each day. I generally like to do 5 hrs Saturday and 3 Sunday so we can get a jump on the trip home.
Things to consider:
Forest Pass - in the case we end up in a developed campsite the Forest Pass is required
Tires - all terrain tires, or mud/snow rated in good condition, will be the minimum tread for the
Recovery points - to extract a vehicle we need good tow points front and rear
Extra food - plenty of food and water are necessary when the weather is an unknown
/ plus it's nice to have extra in case we come across someone who has been
Spares - check your spare parts and supplies to be sure you replenish what you've used or
lost over the summer
First Aid - check your first aid kits and replenish any depleted items
Warm clothes/sleeping bags - the temps will be somewhere between 15 and 50 deg f.